This is in reference to birth control being handed out to middle school kids in Maine.
My wife and I put our child in public school for two weeks. The principal got up and said "while your kids are here, we are their mommies". That comment made my skin crawl BUT she is right. They ensure they eat. They make sure they go to the bathroom. They have a nurse on staff to deal with cuts and bruises. They deal with psychological issues. In some places they hand out inappropriate sex surveys and contraceptives and this is all within the law, or so it seems. They assume the role of parent during that time frame and we, by virtue of handing our children over to them relinquish those rights during that time frame. For the law to extend our parental rights is to invent rights that are not in the constitution. It would become a logistical nightmare for the public school system to have to police dictations from the parents on every matter that they consider their right."You cannot teach my kids evolution" ... "You cannot teach my kids about sex" ... "You MUST teach my kids about sex" .. some parents will lose those battles. You can be involved but ultimately your control on some matters is handed over to committees, PTA groups and the system.
Consider the argued right in the Nov 2005 "sex survey" case “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs”
The Ninth Circuits ruling contains the following conclusion
.... We conclude only that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject to their students in any forum or manner they select.
Now I know the 9th circuit being who they are is easy to dismiss but what shocked me about this case was strong commentary from the other side of the political aisle that could find no real hole in the decision. In fact many people calling themselves "strict constitutionalists" called it the right decision. Their beef was with the 9th circuits selective application of their reasoning.
The court even went through the unusual trouble of rewording the decision to eliminate some of their more extreme statements knowing they have a good chance, should this come before the SC, of standing and becoming precedent for future rulings along these lines. I don't see this as an obscure matter of if. I see it as a matter of when.
Read what Amy Welborn has on her site ...That 9th Circuit Decision
The best comments from that time frame that helped me were
Again, I think that he reaches the right decision based on the law, but I also think that he is disingenuous when he states that the court makes this decision based on law rather than policy preferences. Based on the rank inconsistency in Judge Reinhardt's Substantive Due Process jurisprudence, the only reasonable conclusion is that his decision was predicated specifically on his liberal policy preferences.
I suspect that if this ruling came from the 5th Circuit, the initial reaction here would have been somewhat different.Ultimately we hold the highest right and that is to get your kids out of public schools that do not abide by the wishes of parents. I think that it is of vital importance for parents to understand that their rights *in* the public school system are not as supreme as they think they are.
That being said, I think the court ruled correctly, and, I might add, conservatives should applaud the resistance by the court to once again expand these unwritten rights to privacy. Should schools notify parents when these subjects are being taught? Yes, but it's not unconstitutional if they don't. Vote out the school board members, or explore other options to prevent this from happening again.
This case should be used by conservatives as Exhibit A in the case for vouchers. Parents should be able to opt out of schools where the administration clearly don't care what parents think.
Fighting spam on your blog
Spam fighting tactic #1
If you can change your permalink URL then you will likely get rid of a lot of spam. I have found the easiest way to control it on my blog is not through anti-spam images and whatnot. The easiest way is to delete the instance and then resubmit the entry it was posted on changing the time stamp. That way it cannot be referenced again through it the same permalink. It has worked so far. Lets see if it works this time.
Three things my parents did right
See Group Writing Project: What are three things your parents did right?1. Encouraged a love of learning
From when I was a young child my parents taught us our letters, numbers and many interesting facts about the world. When we listened to music it was classical. When we watched television it was Sesame Street, Electric Company or some documentary like Wild Kingdom, Jacques Cousteau or the Cosmos series with Carl Sagan. Most importantly they taught us to read at a very early age and encouraged us to read things that we were interested in. I developed the standard love for dinosaurs that all young boys have through reading. I learned about tornadoes the same way. That love of learning is a substantial reason my reversion to the faith was possible. I had a lot to read and loving to dig deeper was a gift my parents gave me. 2. We knew our parents loved us.
My parents operated in a way where there was no doubt as to how they felt about us. We played the role of prodigal son quite frequently and they were always there with the fattened calf when life had dealt us the discipline and humiliation we needed to learn lessons in life the hard way. My mother told my wife and I when we got married that we were going to screw up as parents. That part, she said, is certain. She then followed by saying "if you do it with love you will make all the right mistakes". No wiser words have been said to us about parenting before we got married or since. 3. Taught us enough about the faith to give us the tools to return to it
I won't say my parents were the best examples of living the faith in our lives especially when we were really young. What they lacked in zeal they made up for with action. Later in their lives they returned to the pews. Still, reading the children's Bible with us had an effect. The few periods in our childhood where we did attend mass regularly kept me wondering throughout my life why people did that. As imperfect as it was, it was enough to work for me and as I saw my parents return to the pews when they got older their newfound zeal had a direct effect in my returning to the Catholic faith.
This is by no means all the things my parents did right. They did a lot more. These are just three. For those things I am thankful. I am even thankful for the mistakes they made that ended up being all the right ones.
Unprecedented Muslim call for peace with Christians
Unprecedented Muslim call for peace with Christians
Pope Benedict sparked Muslim protests last year with a speech hinting Islam was violent and irrational. It prompted 38 Muslim scholars to write a letter challenging his view of Islam and accepting his call for serious Christian-Muslim dialogue.
Benedict repeatedly expressed regret for the reaction to the speech, but stopped short of a clear apology sought by Muslims.
The new letter argues in theological terms, giving quotes from the Koran and the Bible that show both Christianity and Islam considered love of God as their greatest commandment and love of neighbor as the second greatest.
"The basis for this peace and understanding already exists," it said. "It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the one God and love of the neighbor."
Say it with me -- "Regensburg Effect
" -- This is what happens when you are not afraid to talk about what you really believe rather than pretending unity can be achieved by ignoring our differences.
See also Vatican official welcomes Islamic initiative
Originally posted Nov 2, 2005
Last night my wife and I set up to hand out candy to little children at our apartment complex. After about 15 or 20 minutes it became abundantly clear that nobody was set up to hand out candy to the two kids who were running around the complex. OK, fine ... most people living in apartments are single so they are somewhat removed from the celebration of kids holidays.
To solve this unwelcome problem for our little volcano, Mikey Mouse and ballet dancer we decided to take them to the neighborhood we will be moving into (provided all goes well) in a few weeks. It was most disappointing to see the number of people who had closed up their homes to protect themselves from the hordes of scary little children roaming around the neighborhood. After all, we know that Halloween is the most dangerous of all holidays ... or is it? Halloween is one of the most American of holidays
An article titled "Primeval terror"
summarizes some of the more recent scholarship on the history of Halloween as it pertains to how it is celebrated in this country and why. It is quite clear that the tradition of trick-or-treat is of relatively recent origin and the association of the holiday with the macabre is even more recent. The problem however is the widespread belief that Halloween is a pagan holiday and thus since its roots are tainted, it too must be fully rejected.
This falls squarely under the Pagan Influence Fallacy
which Catholics should be quite familiar with.
The pagan influence fallacy is committed when one charges that a particular religion, belief, or practice is of pagan origin or has been influenced by paganism and is therefore false, wrong, tainted, or to be repudiated. In this minimal form, the pagan influence fallacy is a subcase of the genetic fallacy, which improperly judges a thing based on its history or origins rather than on its own merits (e.g., "No one should use this medicine because it was invented by a drunkard and adulterer").Christmas and the pagan tradition of wedding rings
Very frequently, the pagan influence fallacy is committed in connection with other fallacies, most notably the post hoc ergo proper hoc ("After this, therefore because of this") fallacy—e.g., "Some ancient pagans did or believed something millennia ago, therefore any parallel Christian practices and beliefs must be derived from that source." Frequently, a variant on this fallacy is committed in which, as soon as a parallel with something pagan is noted, it is assumed that the pagan counterpart is the more ancient. This variant might be called the similis hoc ergo propter hoc ("Similar to this, therefore because of this") fallacy.
When the pagan influence fallacy is encountered, it should be pointed out that it is, in fact, a fallacy. To help make this clear to a religious person committing it, it may be helpful to illustrate with cases where the pagan influence fallacy could be committed against his own position (e.g., the practice of circumcision was practiced in the ancient world by a number of peoples—including the Egyptians—but few Jews or Christians would say that its divinely authorized use in Israel was an example of "pagan corruption").
Of course, as mentioned, the refutation of the pagan influence fallacy is to point out that one could reject a whole host of commonly accepted things on the same basis. According to Catholic Encyclopedia
"the well-known solar feast ... of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date." Similar logic would require one to reject the celebration of Christmas on the grounds of its pagan influence.
The same holds true of wedding rings whose use is also of pagan origin and recent note of this has even sparked a number of Protestants to reject this tradition.
The Church has, as is well pointed out by our fundamentalist brethren, intentionally fixed specific feast days in proximity to pagan holidays in order to offer a wholesome alternative to the common celebration of the festival. Halloween has a far longer Christian history than that of the recent negative aspects of the holiday. Today is All Saints day and the vigil of this feast has been commonly called Halloween for quite some time. The negative effects of Halloween and how to neutralize them
With studies out showing that horror has lasting negative effects on children
, one certainly must be careful about how Halloween is celebrated. If you are afraid of the occult influence of typical Halloween costumes involving witches and goblins one might find better use with a innocuously secular choice, or even better, a blatantly Christian one.
For example, modeling a costume after a popular icon of St. Athanasius would result in a quite interesting garment and a costume that might generate conversation.
It is also careful to note that the traditional scare around the
time of Halloween is that of people tampering the candy they are giving your children. It should calm your nerves however to get the facts on things like pins, needles, and razor blades
in candy and on Halloween poisonings
.The primary positive motivation for participating in Halloween
In this busy work-centered world it is a rare opportunity that you encounter more than just your adjacent neighbors. This raises an increasingly difficult problem in developing long term relationships with neighbors and in developing trust within parents in the neighborhood. This was a given when I was a child and it has rapidly disappeared because neighborhoods are largely uninhabited during the day. By the time people do get home they have no interest in doing anything but winding down. Halloween might be better termed meet your neighbor day. A failure to witness --- or --- to hell with all my neighbors
It is our job, as Christians – especially Catholics – to take back Halloween. This by no means prevents us from participating in what has become essentially a child’s opportunity to get out and participate in something fun. The kids get to meet other kids. You get to meet your neighbors.
One of the most positive things we saw when we went from house to house were happy people. One of the most pleasant experiences that we had was meeting a young man and his wife. He was clearly a Christian and he made a very positive effort towards being welcoming and polite.
There are practical ways to limit the overtly non-Christian elements of Halloween. That is the path we should take as Christians. Withdrawing from the world on any day is like saying we give up Satan … you can have that day. Taking Back Our "Holy" HalloweenReclaim the Celebration of All Saints
2007 McDonalds rare piece list
I did this last year so I will do it again. source WikiPedia - McDonald's Monopoly
Reading your keyword results
I just wanted to point something out ...
Below is a list of keyword searches that have resulted in multiple hits on my blog in the last 500 visits in order from most to least
napoleon dynamite - full circle - tiber river - louisiana state capital - www.earlychurchfathers.com - vatican rebuts euthanasia charge on john paul ii - negative point of homeschooling - dauphine street new orleans church - fullcircle - full circle meaning - steenson - guy with no dating experience - cora and isaac cline - st. teresa of avila catholic church new orleans - psalm 127 introduction - jp2 euthanized - discussion of lord i life your name on high - regain inc. - mcdonalds monopoly truths - ecclesiastic mosaic studios of ireland - 1938 talbot-lago t150 - how to create artificial stem cells - take up your cross and follow me luke 9:23
This points out a few things to me.
1. Fresh topics in the news are important for everyone to post about
vatican rebuts euthanasia charge on john paul ii
2. My post on a "negative aspect of homeschooling
" continues to be one of my most popular hits on this blog. It is a recurring theme. Many people are looking for actual criticism of homeschooling rather than just drinking the cool aid and going forward as if there are no negatigve aspects to it ...
negative point of homeschooling
3. I need to post more on marriage and dating
. It is a topic I am interested in and I have written a good bit on it and every once in a while I get a hit on something that I have in scare quotes somewhere. You people need my help :)
guy with no dating experience
4. Local interest is important. This is something I think OpinionatedCatholic does really well. His Louisiana summary and his posting on LSU and Louisiana Tech keep me going back daily.
dauphine street new orleans church
st. teresa of avila catholic church new orleans
louisiana state capital
5. Personal interest items having nothing to do with my Catholic faith or the name of this blog or web site have are about 20% of where my hits come from. Your blog cannot get so focused on a single topic that you forget to let your personality out some. Oddly Napoleon Dynamite is my top persistent hit getter. Others have gotten me more hits in short periods of time but this one takes the cake in keeping people cominn by month after month? Why? Its an image search hit. The moral to that story is simple. Host your own images AND name them well.
cora and isaac cline
mcdonalds monopoly truths
1938 talbot-lago t150
Anyway, that is just a quick review of what people have been reading recently on my blog. It is also a quick note for people who blog to review what is interesting to people and ensure that you include something for everyone who might be interested in the things you write about.
Why I will not vote for Giuliani vs. Clinton
Since everyone is weighing in, I figured I would put my two cents up
I decided last week to give a little thought to the idea that Republicans should not jump ship just because the party jettisons its support for the pro-life movement and offers up Rudy as a candidate for president. I have grown more and more weary of the Republican party and this greatly informs my current position. Critics of my position say that Rudy has stated that he will appoint "strict constitutionalists" that will be the type we need to overturn Roe. v. Wade.
I don't buy it ... and here is why ...
First off, you are asking me to trust the word of a politician and one with a history of contempt for the pro-life position. Think about that ... just for a moment. If George Bush the elder let conservatives down when he caved in against his now famous "read my lips, no new taxes" line, how am I supposed to put a tremendous amount of faith in what clearly seems like a 5 pound test life-line thrown to pro-lifers SOLELY for the purpose of gaining their vote? After all "Hilary is worse" right?
Second, you are asking me to trust that these mythical nominees will make it into the court through a currently more liberal congress. Just as with recent nominations, they will be asked about Roe, and they will have to give some vague notion that they will not upset the status quo in order to make it to the bench.
Third, you are asking me to trust that Republicans, an institution of men with varying religions and often contradictory political objectives, are willing to put the right Christian moral perspective in place with full knowledge that a subset of moderate pro-life voters that vote Republican with their noses held almost solely on this issue will stop voting Republican once their goal is accomplished. You are asking me to see the Republican party as "holy and blameless" and not the pile of hypocrites they, along with the Democrats, are. They are a political party that seeks to promise things that appease 51% of the population. Votes are their target. Their platform is just what they sell. Without the base of religion there is no such thing as "Republican values" .. parties change with the wind. We should be ever diligent in understanding that.
Fourth, you are asking me to trust that these mythical, possibly personally pro-choice "strict constitutionalists" are going to be the type of logical stalwarts that are going to suspend their personal beliefs long enough to overturn a ruling they might "personally" agree with. Why, pray tell, would they even vote to hear the case? Why would you expect them to think like a pro-lifer thinks on these constitutional issues when they very well might not be pro-life? After all they think abortion is legal and -- hey law ain't perfect -- why change a situation am I not really all that upset with?
Finally, the Republican party has to earn my vote. They don't get it just because they have gotten it in the past and they certainly are not going to get it just in case some unlikely series of events occurs and 3 justices are turned over in the next 4 years, and a pro-choice candidate suspends his support for the culture of death to promote judges that both I am comfortable with along with a more "culture of death" leaning congress. I will win the lottery before this scenario unfolds.
Basically I think this "You MUST vote Rudy" scenario is one cooked up by Republicans who are having a hard time seeing that their party, just like the Democrats of 30 years ago, is suffering from a drastic increase of the non-religious voice within the party. Democrats back in the day conceded to that influence and look at what they have today. The increasing number of people holding my opinion on this matter should serve as a wake-up call to Republicans who care about winning the next presidential election. If Rudy is nominated, the ship is sunk because changing the minds of large numbers of moderate disgusted pro-life voters who happen in large numbers to be opposed to this war is a recipe for LOSS in 2008.
Like the Democratic party left Reagan, the Republican party is leaving its religious base. No sense in holding hands with a party whose platform is but a mere image of what it used to be and who offers us mere table scraps in support for a position that is becoming clearer and clearer they never intend to change.
The nanny state is watching you
Doc, what’s up with snooping? - BostonHerald.com
Yes, I fear the nanny state. ---
This isn't a shock to me although I certainly think it is a very disturbing trend. Increasingly adults are not having children so they see "bad parents" as more of a problem than parents do.
Homeschooling has been questioned with the line of questioning that "what, are the public schools not good enough?"
Nanny state favoring non-parents want the children of the nation to be indoctrinated with the moral relativism of modern thought and its so-called tolerance. Thus the crowbars to pry at the foundations of parental rights are of little or no concern to them. The ends certainly justify the means. What is at stake here is not the intollerence of my children infringing on individual rights but my right as a parent to educate my children as I see fit.
The state wants to teach my children from a perspective of no religion with the grand idea that legislating the moral idea that any infringement, dare I say criticism, of the lifestyle choices of others is the way to a modern utopia. It isn't. I want to teach my children from the perspective of Christ and His Church and my faith teaches me that it is merciful to let you know when you are on the path of wickedness.
To take this even further, our birth choices have been questioned under the thin veil of accusations of us being "bad parents" because we wanted to choose the route that statistically speaking produces the healthiest outcomes. Bad patient!
Doctors have aksed to us (is it a law or something?) with stunning similarity each time we have a child whether or not we would like to stop polluting the earth with our cabon dioxide producing, diaper using kids. "So which type of birth control will you be using?" .. or the ever so compassionate of our dire need to end this madness "Do you want your tubes tied?"
I have ranted here before that secularists will EVENTUALLY lose ground to those who are having children. After all, they tend to be of more conservative values. The only way they can stem the "disturbing" trend of morally conservative youth is to prevent conservatives from doing what they know is best for the future; having more kids. The fact is though that the secular liberals are up to the game. Their solution is the nanny state. I expect greater persecution of homeschoolers in the future. There is nothing more dangerous to the future of secularists than parental rights. How soon is it before we have federally mandated child care starting at 6 weeks? With the increase of hate crime legislation how soon is it before certain things are exempted from "free speech" because of perceived infringement of "individual rights" of others? How soon is it before we are legislating that religions have to hire based on the same principles as businesses? I know a lot of people have faith in the US Constitution to protect us from ourselves. I don't have that faith. It is a document subject to the whims and interpretations of men.
We see where that has gone with some interpretations of Scripture. Why would we expect an institution not guarded by the Holy Spirit not to go off the rails eventually? Laws and elections will not save this country. Only Christ will.
When you have a bad day, look to a child
I have four children. The oldest is six and the youngest is 7 months. My life is difficult at times, hectic all the time and very rarely do I get a break from the world and its demands. It often turns me into a grumpy person. It is easy to see some of the graces of marriage. Couples praying together to work out their problems can often receive a flood of peace driving them towards sensible solutions that bring them closer together. Grace can hardly be so obvious. I think though, given the character of marriage to produce children, it is easy for us to overlook the graces that come with parenthood because of the sacrifices required to take care of them. Having children forced me to grow up, certainly, but it can never be an excuse to remove the joy within us.
I noticed last night that there is never a day that goes by that my kids are not involved in some sort of joyous adventure. My childhood was like that as well but last night I started to notice that their lives contain difficulties as well. Quite often one of them falls down. All three of them want to swing when there is only two swings. The tragedies in the lives of children may seem mild to us, but they are very real to them. The difference lies in how a child reacts to adversity. They get over it almost immediately. When Christ told us to have "faith like a child" I do not think he merely indicated to us to simply believe because. To have faith like a child is to forgive quickly and receive joy quickly. Kids on a playground can often resolve disputes faster than we can seem to resolve much of anything. Its almost as if they do not know to be a crank when things go south.
Today I resolve to forgive quickly and receive joy quickly. I resolve to have faith like a child, not shunning my responsibilities, but accepting life as it comes and being thankful that I have these little graces in my life to remind me what its all about.
Supreme Court: Religious groups must offer employees birth control
Freedom of conscience took a hit today ...
I am short for time but I wanted to mention that the Supreme Court "rejected a petition by the groups arguing that by being forced to offer contraception pills and equipment on their employee health-insurance plans, their First Amendment rights to free speech were violated". Religious groups must offer employees birth control
The correct solution to this, sadly, is to stop providing health care to your employees. That said, an employer could pay the employee what they are paying for their health care and tell them to get an HSA and a high-deductable policy. It would cost about the same and it unties the organization from DIRECTLY making a choice contrary to their conscience.
I found it interesting that other religious groups were supporting the Catholic Church here. They realize what was at stake here. How soon before the state dictates the hiring of priests requiring us to ordain women? How about marrying gays? This won't make a huge splash in the press but it is certainly a big deal.
Dawn Eden on Life On The Rock
Dawn Eden was on Life On The Rock last night and as expected it was excellent. Dawn mentioned the "rebellion" that drew her to Catholicism. I'll quote from a BustedHalo interview with her
Because I had assumed that Christians were just this white bread, Moral Majority, faceless, conformist, mass, they all ruled the world, and that for me to be this rock and roll hipster rebel, I had to be different from them. And what Chesterton put forth, is that there is false rebellion and true rebellion, and the false rebellion is essentially to be a rebel without a cause. The rebelling for the sake of rebelling. True rebelling was the rebelling against the evil that has its grip on the world, so that the Christian is the true rebel. Chesterton also said this in Orthodoxy, when he said words to the effect that Christianity is the only religion where God, in order to be a King, must also be a rebel. And so reading that just opened up my mind, and at first I just thought, well Chesterton must have been the only salty Christian. (source)
Oddly enough the idea of rebellion has never appealed to me but I know MANY people for whom this aspect of the faith would have great appeal.
Anyway, I know you want to see the rest of it and the episode is up on EWTN's site right now. It will be there for a week. Archived Video in RealVideoPodcast version?
- I am taking a chance here. It may be last weeks episode as of the time of this posting. Anyway if you read this within a week or so of my posting it you should have the right stuff.
Vatican Rebuts Euthanasia Charge on John Paul II
Vatican Rebuts Euthanasia Charge on John Paul II
The reference I promised from the post I made earlier regarding this.
Crazy health insurance system
Our Crazy Health-Insurance System
First off, I can't say I disagree with it.
There are more factors involved though. I personally feel the quality of health care has gone down. One factor I witnessed first hand was litigation. When my wife had our last child she was told by her first doctor that she was a perfect candidate for a VBAC. That said, the doctor would not go to the hospital my wife wanted to go to (we had medical outcome reasons) so we changed doctors. Keep in mind we read the ACOG position paper on it and were well aware of the risks and the competency of my wife to deliver a 10 lb baby VBAC. We even had a second opinion from a trusted friend who happens to be an OB. From that point it went down hill as doctors fought tooth and nail to convince us that VBAC was a bad decision and having a repeat section is a GOOD decision. Every shred of medical evidence we can find argues EXACTLY the opposite point. During my wifes delivery the doctor on call came in and literally chewed me and my wife out because he said we were taking a big risk. My wife was in transition at the time. Why was he upset? He was afraid of something going wrong and us suing him. He was very honest in giving that assessment. Now, why does he want to intervene? Because despite the increased risk of intervention, when he goes to court there is more paperwork and more "stuff" done by the doctor. "I did
all I could" sounds much better than "I just wanted to let the labor progress naturally (or I did nothing
Insurance companies do not put pressure on doctors to reduce the number of C-sections in this country. This would reduce cost. Insurance companies are not lining up to support free-standing birth centers across the street from major hospitals. This would reduce cost. They typically do not offer a reduction in premiums for people who choose that route. MOST of my insurance cost is maternity so I presume that a substantial amount paid out by insurers is towards delivering babies. If the birth-center movement had some traction insurance companies would pay out far less because, for one thing, every 3rd delivery would not be a section. Sections cost significantly more than a vaginal birth. A visit to a free-standing birth center costs literally thousands less than a hospital visit. The majority of healthy low-risk women are capable of delivering a baby naturally making a birth-center a great option both for cost and safety.
Now, lets consider this a little further outside of the scope of maternity. What incentives are insurers giving me to shop for price when I am ill? I cannot think of many. I get a list of nearly every doctor and town and am told "Go to any of them and we will pay 90 percent". In my own interests I am likely going to choose the BEST doctor and often times that is the most expensive doctor. It kind of makes me wonder if they are not all that upset with the way things work. After all, the more money they dole out, the more they can legitimately charge us and the more money they TAKE-IN. More money exchanging hands certainly is a good thing for them. Its how low margin, big-box retailers make a living.
Finally, I want to include one more aside on this whole mess. I am an asthmatic whose asthma has been reduced to a single mild attack every 6 months or so. When I was a kid and had it worse I could get an inhaler for $10 and it would last me several months. If I could buy one today it would last me years. The deal is, I cannot buy one over the counter any more. They have been pulled off the market because 1) doctors claim they do not want people self-diagnosing asthma and 2) they supposedly infect the atmosphere with CFC's. I can however, see a doctor and get a more expensive inhaler which, of course, still impacts the environment. I could get on Singulair and take one pill a day for the rest of my life. No asthma for me. Yay! But at what cost am I taking that route? My solution now is to deal with it naturally. My cases are mild and simply calming down and drinking caffeine tends to solve the problem. Its the right solution for me in this day and age. Still, I wish I could buy my old inhaler. I am willing to pay $10. I am not willing to ensure about $400 changes hands on my behalf and put myself at a risk for future higher premiums.
Who really wants to think about all of this though? If your employer is paying for your insurance all you care is what your co-pay is. Its exactly how I was until I spent time paying for my own insurance. If you want to know the truth I wish my employer would ditch my health care benefits and increase my pay by the amount they are paying for me. Then I could get an HSA and a qualifying high deductible policy. This would encourage me to be more responsible with my health care choices and if I remain in good health for a few years the money I won't have to save in subsequent years will result in a raise.
As it is, we have gone down this path for way too long and it isn't going to be corrected overnight.
You have got to check this out ... Good Music is bad!
-- CMR summarizes it as follows
Simple music forms faith. Good music is a distraction. So good music that lifts us up to heaven and God is bad. Instead, bad music is to be preferred because it brings God down to our level.
Huh? You want to talk distraction? The following distractions cause me to recoil in horror every time I see them in the music I am supposed to be singing at mass.
1. (c) 1960-1985
2. Multiple instances of 3/8,6/8,9/8 crammed in various assortments throughout the song. The more instances, the more distracting.
3. Adjacent notes over an octave away from each other.
4. Classic hymns with a word replacement. For example, yesterday we saw "sinner" replaced with "person"
TIME magazine and the claim JP2 was euthanized
Calling a liberal a hypocrite is, in their own minds, one of the worst charges you can level at them. They pride themselves on tolerance and open mindedness yet often the rubber never hits the pavement quite right ... Exhibit A:
TIME magazine making a big deal out of a TV doctor who was not present at the death of JP2 CLAIMING that he was euthanized. Pesky Catholic hypocrites ... An interesting facet of this is that TIME criticized Bill Frist for doing exactly the same thing with Terry Schiavo. Interestingly, they were right the first time. NewsBusters has the goods ...CWN also has a short blurb making the same point.
I read earlier today that Vatican doctors who were there have responded to this. Source forthcoming ...
Episcopalian Bishop to Become Catholic
Episcopalian Bishop to Become Catholic - The third this year
Faced with this very soul-draining stalement between contrasting theologies and contrasting views on Scripture, authority, sexuality, and a host of such issues, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey N. Steenson, the active Bishop of the Rio Grande, will announce his intention to enter the Roman Catholic Church tomorrow.-- a couple more posts to follow this in a few hours --
Those who claim to be close to the bishop report that, in the face of these many problems and afflictions of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion at large, Steenson has been telling friends for some time, "The answer is Benedict XVI."
In his own (public) words:
Regarding his move to the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Steenson said, “I believe that the Lord now calls me in this direction. It amazes me, after all of these years, what a radical journey of faith this must necessarily be. To some it seems foolish; to others disloyal; to others an abandonment.”
The confusing meaning of the modern precept - You can't legislate morality
I think most people agree that morality cannot be legislated.
I think a little clarity is in order here.
If one means by this that we cannot legislate morality by passing laws and having a substantial part of society fall into accordance with the will of God then I would agree with this. If they are saying that laws are somehow not legislation of a moral idea, I disagree.
Every law reflects some moral idea, every moral idea reflects some fundamental commitment, and every fundamental commitment is religious-it proposes a god. The Problem With Conservatism by J. Budziszewski
FYI there is a sister essay that goes with this called The Problem With Liberalism
. Both are interesting reads although I gather from reading them that he struggled more writing the Conservatism article. For example, when he chastises the Conservative tendency towards what he calls "traditionalism" he cites the repeated adherence to precedent in upholding Roe v. Wade. Some of the others are tendencies I think are suffered mostly by a certain strain of Protestants who sees the United States as a "city on a hill" and not the Church. That said, he does rake a certain lay group of Catholics insisting that we have a moral obligation to invest ala the parable of the talents.
The latest in fashionable attacks on marriage
Or "the same old things under the sun that have always attacked marriage"Politician's cure for seven-year itch is to put marriage on time limit
That would make my marriage past due. At least she would retain the option to renew your marriage. In my case this expiration would have to have some sort of provision for 4 children. If the point is to save court costs then I don't see how it would help a case with children. It isn't JUST about YOU and YOUR comfort level. Now Polygamy: After Legalizing Same-Sex ‘Marriage,’ More Canadians Want to Redefine Marriage
Its a slippery slope folks.
I have always been of the thought that dating is overrated and that the most effective way to determine 1) whether or not you should be married and 2) who that person should be is to leave it in the hands of God. Dawn Eden has an excellent post up about single websurfers. My advice for anyone who is looking with dread at having to "go through the whole process" of online dating is to do an experiment, just for tonight.
Seriously. If you are single go read it. If you are not go read it. Focus on prayer. Go to adoration. Get closer to God and He will make evident your vocation.
Save the planet, have less children? ... Nah! Spread the Gospel. Have children.
It is interesting that I found these two articles in the same 24 hour period.
One pieces expounds on the idea of everyone not having children in order to better the future of the planet. Let's not wait for climate change, he says. Let's start depopulating right now.
WOW ... what a NOT great idea! It does point out something I have become a bigger believer in recently.
Townhall has another article about number of children as it relates to belief and political ideology. Consider the following
"[there is] a 41 percent fertility gap between religious and secular people."
For the politically conservative out there ... Even worse—if you are a secularist—religious people who identify themselves as politically "conservative" or "very conservative" are having, on average, an astonishing 78 percent more kids than secular liberals, Brooks writes.The Roe Effect
has even more profound effects when you consider it along with the "pill" effect. Predictions of the end of religion by the world are woefully uniformed. Its quite simple actually. A world view that shuns children eliminates its future. One that expresses the sentiment of its founder to "let the little ones come to me" has a bright future indeed.
The last several days at work were intense. I worked for 9 straight days including some late nights and through the first week of the NFL season.
Anyway, work has stabilized some so I SHOULD be able to blog some.
Prayers for those affected by Hurricane Felix
Felix made landfall in an area where torrential rains have historically caused all kinds of catastrophic problems. People seldom hear about what goes on with these type landfalls.
Q: What was the deadliest Atlantic Hurricane in 2005?
Wilma, Katrina, Rita?
A: We don't know for sure although the official death totals put Katrina barely on top. Hurricane Stan killed over 1500 and some estimates are over 2000.
Its OK to admit it if you have never heard of Hurricane Stan. The press didn't cover it that much. It was a Category 1 storm. There just wasn't much hype surrounding it. Just because the press isn't covering post-landfall Felix at the top of every hour does not mean it is not going to be a storm that changes lives forever.
Had to disable contact page ... apparently its not sending me emails
Apologies to those who have tried to contact me but the emails were never delivered ....
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Legionaries taking Regain Inc. to court
Since I get visits from people interested in this I feel an obligation to pass this on. Controversial Catholic Group Alleges Critics Stole Inside Info
A controversial Catholic group is taking its critics to court in the latest escalation of the decades-long battle between the Legion of Christ and former members of the Legion, some of whom have accused its founder of sexual abuse.
Former members of the order, known as Legionaries, have formed an online community to discuss, among other things, the sexual abuse allegations against the founder, Father Marcial Maciel.
Last year, the Vatican asked Maciel to give up all of his ministry appearances following accusations that decades ago he molested young priests in training.
The Legion has filed a complaint against one of the organizations, Regain Inc., and its president, a former Legionary, John Paul Lennon.